2019 Challenge


The deadline to submit your film is April 30, 2018 at 6:00 PM.

Once you have chosen a civic issue of interest to you, you should consider the following:

  • How does our democratic system deal with that issue?
  • What can be done, what is being done, to bring together people with different opinions about that issue?
  • Should the government have more or less involvement in your issue?
  • What are the barriers to resolve your issue? Does social media help or hinder the resolving of your issue?
  • How does your issue connect with the Constitution of the United States?

Submission: You must upload on Youtube or Vimeo and enter the link on the submission form by Monday, April 30, 2018.

Format: The film should be a 4-8 minute nonfiction documentary. Elements can include, but are not limited to, interviews with journalists, politicians, teachers, students, activists, advocates, experts and community leaders; stills, graphics, news footage, original footage shot by students is encouraged.

Topics: The film should be an unbiased exploration of a national or local civic issue.

Equal Time: The documentary should be as objective as possible, and explore the different points of view on the issue. It is recommended that students interview one person representing each side, as well as one other who can provide more objective expert insight, or a personal perspective into the issue. This usually means 2-3 interviews in a film.

Support: Help and additional materials/services may be obtained by contacting the Civic Life Project.

Evaluation Criteria (Does your film meeting the following criteria?)

  • Tells an important story about a current issue – 20%
  • Is informed by solid background research – 15%
  • Presents different points of view about the issue – 15%
  • Uses highest technical standards for picture and sound – 15%
  • Includes a strong and compelling opening sequence – 5%
  • Includes well edited and compelling interviews – 20%
  • Uses well written and effective narration – 5%
  • Contains credits naming all participants and all sources used in the research and production phase – 5%



Three prizes will be awarded for: Best Documentary, Best Interview, and Public Choice Award

  • Producer(s) of the Best Documentary will win a cash prize of $2,000.
  • Producer(s) of the Best Interview in a Documentary will win a cash prize of $1,500.
  • Producer(s) of the Public Choice Award will win a cash prize of $500.
  • Additional prizes might be awarded if Youth Film Challenge organizers secure additional sponsorships.

Voting is now closed. 

Thanks to all participants for making the 2018 Film Challenge a huge success.